May 15, 2018
I woke up this morning to find that our hotel in Shanghai has AMAZING food for breakfast! I am talking about anything you could imagine. There were lots of pastries, fried and scrambled eggs, bacon, french toast, etc. The food at this hotel topped the breakfast in Beijing and Xi’an by a mile. This big breakfast was just what I needed to prepare myself for this morning’s agenda. We were going back to school.
We hopped on the bus and headed to East China University of Science and Technology. This campus was very interesting. Walking to the university, it was like we were going through a forest with the amount of trees surrounding us. However, once on campus, there wasn’t that much plant life. We walked into a building with the words “College of International Education” on it and made our way to a classroom. Good thing it was air-conditioned because today was easily one of the hottest days we experienced in China. Mrs. Huang, an economics professor at the university, was waiting to give a presentation to us. She talked to us about the history of China and what the economy is looking like for the future, which was pretty interesting.
After the lesson, our group was split up into pairs and were matched with “tour guides” who were current students at the university. My tour guide was a girl named Hannah and she spoke surprisingly good English for being a Japanese major. Hannah gave us a mini-tour around the campus and brought us to one of their cafeterias for lunch. It resembled a typical cafeteria back in the states. It was just a large square room with tables and benches for students to eat their food. Hannah then treated us to some ice cream at a small shop around the corner. I got this mango swirl popsicle with strawberry middle; something I have never seen back home which was pretty cool. After food, we returned to the classroom and participated in some activities as a whole group.
Our time at the university soon came to an and the group headed back to the hotel. We had a few hours to kill before the highlight of the night: a Chinese acrobatics show. So, I decided to take a quick power nap to refresh myself. When I woke up, there was just enough time to get ready for the big show.
Attending this performance was optional, so a smaller group of around 14 of us went. There was a lot of traffic on the way there, so we played lots of songs and did a karaoke-type thing. It was the first time the whole trip that I felt that I had become super close to these people. Everyone was laughing and joking around with each other. I had a great time singing with everybody, even if it was just for a bit on the bus.
We finally arrived to The Shanghai Centre Theatre, just in time for the show to begin. The lights dimmed and the giant red curtains began to open. The performance started with a dance routine and then transitioned into multiple types of balancing acts. One girl was so high above the stage just balancing on chairs and another guy balanced on moving sticks. Another amazing act was this guy with a Chinese yo-yo. He was doing so many tricks and kept control of it very well. One thing that I found to be very cool was the costume choices. Each act had a specific style, but I liked the traditional Chinese clothing the most. I am so glad to have gone to see this once in a lifetime show.